Off the Beaten Path: 6 Must-See Hidden Towns in West Virginia

West Virginia, also known as the Mountain State, is rich in history, culture, and natural beauty because of its idyllic Appalachian vistas. Its overlooked little towns, nestled among forests and rolling hills, are simple to miss but much more pleasurable to explore with the assistance of friendly residents.

Every town has its own distinct atmosphere, offering chances for adventure, outdoor leisure, and cultural recreation. They all fervently welcome guests and create unforgettable encounters.


Bramwell, with its vast forested hills and hollows, is an ideal place to spend time outdoors. It has a long history as a boom town that, at the turn of the 20th century, had the highest concentration of millionaires per person in the United States.

Encapsulating the quintessential mountain village, Bramwell entices tourists with its distinct brand of humor and welcoming ambience while they meander through a plethora of historically significant structures situated downtown, encompassing residences such as the Hewitt House, Perry House, Thomas House, and Pack House that are accessible for guided tours.

The Coal Heritage Trail Interpretive Centre acts as a preamble to a nature walk, and the Bramwell Depot recreates the atmosphere of the original railroad depot.


Charming mountain town of Marlinton, with the Greenbrier River running right through the center, is unjustly disregarded off the main path and surrounded by forests.

Off the Beaten Path 6 Must-See Hidden Towns in West Virginia

The Pocahontas County Historical Society Museum, which is home to a number of historic buildings and museums, is open spring through fall, making it the ideal time to visit during the colorful leaf-peeping season. Make sure you don’t miss an evening concert at the Pocahontas County Opera House, which is open year-round and dates back to 1910.


Harman, a charming village wonderfully graced by nature, is located on the Dry Fork of the Cheat River in the Monongahela National Forest at an elevation of 2,400 feet.

With only 125 residents, it exudes “harmony” and has a number of campgrounds, utilities, and a welcoming local restaurant with lots to explore.

Located 13 miles west of Seneca Rocks, the community was incorporated around the turn of the 20th century and named for the landowner, Reverend Asa Harman. Today, guests can take advantage of views and convenient access to Rich Mountain and the Allegheny Mountains.

And then explore the moss-covered, gorgeous Bowden Cave in the town to the west, which is just thirty minutes away from Harman’s downtown, along with other relaxing small-town establishments.

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Discover the historic area, which has a central square that is both quaint and lively and is evocative of Nottingham Hill. Don’t forget to check out the Blue Moon Cafe and the evening performance at Frank Hall.

Off the Beaten Path 6 Must-See Hidden Towns in West Virginia

Merely 10 miles away from the notorious Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, Shepherdstown is frequently eclipsed by what is considered to be the most prestigious small-town destination in the Mountain State, still reverberating with Civil War ghosts.

Shepherdstown, one of the oldest communities in West Virginia and a previous candidate for the title of capital, is a town with a lot to offer.


Sadly, Ripley—which is well-known for its picturesque red-covered bridge—is underestimated; the Mid-Ohio Valley region has a number of other noteworthy sights.

An ideal destination for a cross-county road trip between Parkersburg and Charleston, Ripley has a lively celebratory atmosphere, a historic area with more than 100 buildings from the late 19th century, and an unexpected blend of soul-satisfying cuisine.

Dishes like “Rings of Fire” jalapeño rings with ranch dip and coconut shrimp with sour marmalade are among the creative and ambitious offerings of the Fairplain Yacht Club.

To Conclude

The little communities of West Virginia provide a special fusion of small-town charm, outdoor adventure, and history. There’s a town for everyone, from Shepherdstown’s historic center to Harman’s scenic splendor, and from Bramwell’s historic homes to Marlinton’s cultural activities.

Even Ripley, which is sometimes disregarded, has a lively environment and excellent cuisine. So, forego the freeway and discover the undiscovered treasures nestled within the picturesque Appalachian embrace of the Mountain State.

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